Fall 2020

Phillip Dmitriev, a member of the Center for Undergraduate Research Board of Students (CURBS) and American Physician Scientists Association, graduated in 2017 double majoring in Neurobiological Sciences and Microbiology and Cell Science. At UF, he completed research as a University Scholar. He is currently studying in an NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program. He will be taking on 4 years of medical school and 4 years of PhD training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Image Credit: Phillip Dmitriev 2020.

Why did you get started in undergraduate research? What is it that allows us to think, feel, and experience the world around us? This question lead me to start looking for labs to study how the human brain works. However, what kept me in lab for my thesis was the excitement of looking at brand new data and coming up with new ideas that haven’t been thought of before.

How has your research experience shaped your career? Because of CUR, I was fortunate enough to present in conferences, both in Florida and out of state. The University Scholars Program scholarship encouraged me to delve deeper into my research topic and eventually write an undergraduate thesis. Importantly, I also met many peers on similar career paths, many of whom I am still in touch with to this day.

Research in general was a very gratifying and valuable experience. I became more confident in my own ideas, learned how to seek out information and be critical, and speak in public. I think these are all very worthwhile transferable skills, and would be useful in any career after graduating.

What advice would you give someone interested in undergraduate research? It’s easier to get started than you might think… it all starts with an e-mail. Find yourself a mentor that wants to foster your career. Finally, the topic doesn’t matter as much as the skills that you learn.